The “golden visas” for wealthy foreign investors are about to be abolished

Portugal is preparing to end its “golden visa” program, which it grants to candidates willing to pay at least 500,000 euros to buy real estate, invest at least 1 million euros, or create ten jobs. As a reminder, the country has been granting these residence permits for investment since the end of 2012, when it was subject to financial injections from the European Union and was looking for foreign capital. ” There are programs that we are re-evaluating and one of them is the Golden Visa program, which has probably already served its purpose. Antonio Costa, President of the Socialist Government, told the media, on the sidelines of a visit to the Web Summit, the high mass of the digital economy that is taking place this week in Lisbon.

11,000 residence permits were granted in ten years

Over the past 10 years, Portugal has taken in more than 6.5 billion euros in exchange for more than 11,000 residence permits granted to candidates. More than 18,000 visas have also been issued to relatives of these investors, again according to statistics published by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). The device has undergone several revisions over time. The latter excluded investments in Lisbon and Porto, the large city in the north of the country, in order to ease the pressure on real estate prices.

Other countries, such as Malta, are within sight of the European Parliament

Portugal is not the only country in Europe that issues these visas or even golden passports. Last March, Malta, Cyprus and Bulgaria were in the sights of the European Parliament, and the Russians were among the beneficiaries of these devices. Thus, last February, the United Kingdom put an end to the “golden visa” system, which has been criticized since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. Malta also announced the suspension of issuing “golden passports” to citizens of Russia and Belarus until further notice. Not enough: In late September, the European Commission sued Malta in the EU’s highest court over its system for granting Maltese passports and citizenship. According to figures released by the European Parliament, between 2011 and 2019 no less than 130,000 people benefited from the “golden passport” or “golden visa”, and this represents an income of more than €21.8 billion for the countries involved.

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ZOOM – Portugal has been facilitating access for migrant workers since this summer

Portugal, which faced a shortage of labor, in tourism or construction, in early August amended the so-called strangers To facilitate immigration and especially reception Digital nomads This new immigration law, which Parliament voted in July, specifically provides for a temporary visa, which lasts 120 days, and which can be extended for a period of 60 days, for foreigners looking for a job. It should also facilitate the formalities of the intended visas Digital nomads »These employees exercise their activity while traveling thanks to the possibilities offered by remote work. The amendment of the Immigration Law should particularly benefit the tourism sector, which is one of the sectors most affected by the labor shortage in Portugal as in other European countries.

(with AFP)